Prepare for Balticon

Preparing for Balticon always takes more than a few days. Five days? A week? A fortnight? Let’s face it… the first week of May, I can’t help but start a packing list for the sheer joy of planning for that lovely weekend with creative souls and crazy personalities. There are panels to talk about, launch parties to expect, and an endless list of people to meet and meet again after a year’s time. There’s so much to do, and this year I have to plan and pack earlier due to the whirlwind of end-of-school events for my kids.

Here in Florida, we start school in the middle of August and, provided that we don’t have a busy hurricane season, public schools finish around Memorial Day weekend. When my kids are older, this will make for an amazing convention season. At the moment, it makes travel a bit of a challenge when we have an early Memorial Day like this year. School goes on for another week, and it’s one of those transitional years when kids have graduations. So, there’s packing not just for Balticon, but for kids not old enough to enjoy Balticon yet.

There’s the challenge of “do I bring swag or not” when it comes to books and business cards. With The Secret World Chronicle series, Baen sends me a box of books when the next title is released. I keep a few of them, donate one to the campus library, but I still have a pile of them in my office that I don’t know how to use. I’ll have some with me when I come to Balticon, so if you’ve not picked up a copy of the third book of Secret World Chronicle: Revolution, I will have some. They were given to me at no cost, so hit me up via email if you would like me to have a copy for you. They’re not signed by the other authors, so you’d have to track them down across the country at their respective conventions in the next year or so.

Balticon always means running into people who want to chatter about projects and narration opportunities. Those are some of my favorite conversations, and I’m happy to to sit down for a bit to talk about audiobook projects. There are already some projects on deck for the summer, but I would rather have a lovely creative conversation to talk about opportunities than say no to the chance.

One of my favorite parts about packing for Balticon is considering the outfits I get to wear. Corsets, skirts, boots, and more than one little red dress. It sounds silly, but being able to dress up and dress out for a weekend always puts a smile on my face. Of course, there’s the challenge of making sure that I have enough clean clothes to pack first… but packing for five people going to two separate destinations means more than a few loads of laundry in the next five days.

There are some “necessities” that come with me to Balticon, based upon what I’ve learned from past conventions. Since I can’t afford any down time as a result of being sick, I bring honeyed cough lozenges (Burt’s Bees are my preferred), throat-coat tea, and allergy medication. I always bring my own travel coffee cup and water bottle, because staying hydrated is important. My first Balticon, I had a truly embarrassing coughing fit during a live reading, and I didn’t want that to happen again. I always bring something to crochet; keeping my fingers busy at panels and readings where I want to listen helps me focus. And, of course, the laptop, external drive, and headphones. There’s always audio to edit.

This year, I’m remembering a few more things that I always seem to forget… like a lanyard for my badge. It sounds silly, but where does one clip a badge on a corset?

Besides, the lanyard makes it easier to not lose my badge when switching outfits. There’s also more books and permanent markers, little things like bobby pins and sewing kits and scissors.

Oh, and there’s my husband. I’m bringing him with me this year, which will be so much fun. He’s never heard me read live, and he’s only met a fraction of the amazing podcasting folk who have made Balticon so wonderful. Mind you, I’m certain that he’s going to hit it off all too well with a few of my favorites, but… small worries. Somehow, I think his horror-loving, MtG-playing, system-coding self will fit in just fine in Hunt Valley. Heck, he’s read more of Sigler’s books than I have. He even points out the nearby Waffle Houses as we drive by.

Now, let’s see how he handles a few episodes of The Street while we’re en route to the airport on Thursday.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 8:52 pm and is filed under voiceovers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Prepare for Balticon”

  1. Anne Elizabeth Baldwin Says:

    I hope you have a wonderful trip. {SMILE}

    As for the “missing” autographs, there’s always the option of getting signed bookplates. Josepha Sherman introduced me to them when I mentioned picking up Vulcan’s Forge. Jo even sent me one with her co-author’s signature as well, but she only had one, and they might have lived close. {Smile, wink} Both Jess Granger and Lisa Shearin have been good about providing them, especially Lisa. They’re certainly cheaper than carting the books around to various places, or even shipping the book without accompanying it. I think they’re less nerve wracking, too. I hesitate to trust the post office to ship my books more times than I have to. {SMILE, wink}

    And I do hope both you and your husband have a wonderful time at the con. It sounds great! {WARM SMILE, REALLY BIG GRIN}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. Anne Elizabeth Baldwin Says:

    P.S. I don’t know how my first comment came out sounding. That can be hard to judge without tone of voice and mannerisms to help interpret. Try excited that I can share something surprisingly neat. The wonder and delight of being able to get autographs without either travelling myself or trusting the post office with books I’d rather not see mangled by their machine hasn’t paled in the decade and a half since Josepha first suggested signed bookplates. (Has it really been that long?) Not that I ask for them often, but when I know the author, they can inspire a flood of memories which is really quite wonderful. {BIG SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  3. Doc Coleman Says:

    We have to prepare for the con?

    oh crap.

    Glad to hear your husband is finally getting to come north for the Con. I look forward to meeting him.

    See you Thursday!

    Doc